Bone marrow examination represents an essential tool for diagnosis and monitoring of haematological and non-haematological disorders. Although some hazards are recognized, bone marrow aspiration and trephine biopsy are generally thought to be safe procedures.
The aim of this study is to identify the possible complications associated with the bone marrow aspiration and biopsy procedures.
In this study, 2156 cases of bone marrow aspiration with or without trephine biopsy were done in Merjan Teaching Hospital, Babil governorate, Iraq during a five year period from 1st Feb 2006 to 1st Feb 2011. These procedures were done under local anesthesia. The complications associated with these procedures were reported.
A new previously unreported complication was seen in 2 patients as they developed sudden apnea and loss of consciousness.
The final diagnosis in both patients was acute lymphoblastic leukemia with huge mediastinal widening and they were lying in prone position during the procedure.
Bleeding was seen in 2/2156 (0.09%) cases. Prolonged pain was documented in one case. No infection was reported.
Bone marrow examination is generally safe, however apnea and loss of consciousness can occur in patients with a huge mediastinal mass compressing trachea and/or major chest vessels when the procedure is done in prone position.
KEY WORDS: Bone marrow aspiration.